For those of you who don’t know, Quora is a relatively new website established in 2009. I believe that the most accurate definition for the site is: “An online engineering platform that connects the information needs of real people with information solutions provided by real people.”. The site has some of the same characteristics as Yahoo Answers, where you type in a question or query and then wait for someone with real-life experience or knowledge on the topic to give you an answer, however, Quora is so much more than this. The site is expanding and continuously improving and is able to give us answers to daily questions on any topic imaginable that we may have in a much faster time than Yahoo answers usually gives.
The next question is: What can this website offer us from an SEO perspective?
Firstly, it is a very good resource for finding quality content ideas and topic ideas and then once the content is written it is an effective medium to convey it to the readers. For example we could search Quora for a popular search site such as Bing. Once you hit the enter key you will see a section of open questions that have not been answered, this is exactly where we can find content ideas. After sifting through a few of the questions, we can take the ones that we, or our colleagues or associates, can answer and then write content on them. The idea behind this is that there is a demand for information and no one is supplying it, when this happens an opportunity is created. In addition to showing all the unanswered and answered questions on the topic you have chosen, Quora will also display similar topics to your search that may be of interest as shown below.
Once the content is complete the next step is to add keyword research to the equation to ensure that we are connected with as many people as possible who are looking for answers related to our content.
Another way that Quora can add value from an SEO perspective is how it can give us insight into where search engines sites are going. There are a lot of Google engineers, former Google engineers and other search site officials that are on Quora and that you are able to follow. Following these types of people who have worked on an array of search products can show us how they answer questions based around search results. This gives us a wider range of voices on what search engines are doing and thinking and where their products may be going in the future.
By using Quora to pool content ideas and gain insight we can get some actual SEO value, even if Quora do nofollow external links.